The European Union

Politics and Policies


Jonathan Olsen and John McCormick

Sixth Edition • July 19, 2016 • 380 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813349848 • $45.00 USD$58.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813350349 • $28.99 USD$28.99 CAN

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  • Click here for updates on the Brexit from author Jonathan Olsen (updated December 15, 2016).

Covering the history, governing institutions, and policies of the European Union, Jonathan Olsen and John McCormick present the EU as one of the world’s economic and political superpowers, which has brought far-reaching changes to the lives of Europeans and has helped its member states to take a newly assertive role on the global stage. Unlike most other books on the EU, this text pays particular attention to the implications of the EU for the United States.

Thoroughly revised, with new photographs and updated tables and figures, the sixth edition of The European Union explains developments that have brought severe challenges to the Union, such as the Greek crisis, the Brexit, tensions with Russia over Ukraine, and new waves of refugees into Europe. Essential reading for students of European politics, this book offers an up-to-the-minute look at both the opportunities and existential threats facing this powerful institution.


Brexit Updates

westviewpress.com/european-union-brexit-updates
Jonathan Olsen, author of The European Union, will be posting periodic updates about the Brexit’s implications. Each post will be available to read here, and will also be downloadable as a PDF.


Jonathan Olsen is professor and chair of the department of history and government at Texas Woman’s University. He teaches courses in comparative politics and political theory, with a specialization in German politics and the politics of the European Union. He is a three-time Fulbright Scholar and has had visiting appointments at the University of Münster, Potsdam University, and the European University-Viadrina (Frankfurt-Oder). His books include Nature and Nationalism (Palgrave Macmillan, 1999) and (with Dan Hough and Michael Koß) The Left Party in Contemporary German Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and Left Parties in National Governments (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.)

John McCormick is Jean Monnet professor of European Union politics at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). His teaching and research interests lie in comparative politics, with particular interests in the politics of the EU, environmental policy, and transatlantic relations. He spent the first half of 2013 as the Fulbright Chair in EU-US Relations at the College of Europe in Belgium. His other publications include European Union Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2nd edition, 2015) and Comparative Government and Politics (Palgrave Macmillan, 10th edition, 2016).

Contents
Tables and Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
About the Authors
Acronyms and Abbreviations

Introduction

Part I: History
1 What Is the European Union?
Chapter Overview
The Role of the State
How Did the EU Evolve?
What Has the EU Become?
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
2 Origins: The Road to Paris
Chapter Overview
The Taming of Europe
Economic Reconstruction and the Marshall Plan
Security and the Cold War
Opening Moves: Coal and Steel (1950–1953)
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
3 Emergence: To the Single Market and Beyond
Chapter Overview
From Paris to Rome (1955–1958)
Integration Takes Root (1958–1968)
The Role of the United States
Enlargement: Looking North and South (1960–1986)
Toward Economic and Monetary Union (1969–1993)
Completing the Single Market (1983–1993)
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
4 Consolidation and Crises: Maastricht, Lisbon, and the Eurozone
Chapter Overview
From Community to Union (1970–1993)
The Euro Arrives (1995–2002)
Changes to the Treaties: Amsterdam and Nice (1997–2001)
Blowback from Iraq (2003–2005)
More Enlargement: Looking East (1994–2013)
From Lisbon to the Eurozone Crisis (2001–)
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes

Part II: Institutions
5 The European Commission
Chapter Overview
Evolution
Structure
How the Commission Works
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
6 The Council of the European Union
Chapter Overview
Evolution
Structure
How the Council Works
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
7 The European Parliament
Chapter Overview
Evolution
Structure
Political Groups in the European Parliament
How Parliament Works
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
8 The Court of Justice of the European Union
Chapter Overview
Evolution
Structure
Sources of European Union Law
How the Court Works
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
9 The European Council, the European Central Bank, and Other Institutions
Chapter Overview
Evolution
Structure
How the Council Works
Specialized Institutions and Agencies
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
10 Representing Public Opinion
Chapter Overview
Public Opinion in the EU
Referendums
European Elections
Interest Groups
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes

Part III: Policies
11 Public Policy and the Budget of the EU
Chapter Overview
The Policy Cycle
Features of the Policy Process
The Budget
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
12 Economic Policy and the Single Market
Chapter Overview
The Single Market and Europe 2020
The Euro
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
13 Cohesion, Justice and Home Affairs, and Other Internal Policies
Chapter Overview
Building a Level Playing Field
Social Policy
Justice and Home Affairs
Education and Languages
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
14 Agricultural and Environmental Policy
Chapter Overview
Agricultural Policy
Environmental Policy
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
15 The EU and the World
Chapter Overview
Toward a Common Foreign Policy
Toward a Common Security Policy
Trade Policy
Developments in the Neighborhood: Eastern Europe and Russia
Relations with BRIC Countries
Development Cooperation
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes
16 The EU and the United States
Chapter Overview
The Changing International System
The Transatlantic Relationship
A Litany of Disputes
Explaining the Differences
Questions to Consider
Further Reading
Notes

Conclusions
Notes

Glossary
Appendix 1 Chronology of European Integration
Appendix 2 Sources of Information
Index

Praise for Previous Editions

“This is unreservedly a book I would recommend. Olsen and McCormick capably distill complex themes involving the history, institutions, and policies of the European Union. Without question, its scholarship and scope position The European Union at the fore of introductions to this field of study.” —Christopher Burdett, Virginia Commonwealth University

“A concise yet complete overview of the European Union. The clarity of the authors’ style helps to make this very complicated topic accessible and interesting to undergraduate students. Their explicit comparison of EU governance to the U.S. system is also very useful for an American audience.” —Jeanie Bukowski, Bradley University

“The previous editions of John McCormick’s text on the European Union established it as a preeminent introductory book in the field. Its clear and concise style has made the text especially valuable for the American student who frequently lacks a background on the topic. The third edition continues this tradition by providing penetrating updates on the EU’s enlargement and the recent transatlantic friction over Iraq.” —Brian Murphy, co-director, European Union Center, University System of Georgia, and professor at North Georgia College & State University

“This is the best introductory text on the policies and politics of the EU that I have come across, being user-friendly, comprehensive, and representing very good value for money … It deserves to be widely adopted as essential course reading.” —Political Studies

“Provides a richly detailed and clearly written guide to this complex political system that is both comprehensive and filled with analytical insight. It will be as useful and interesting to scholars of the EU as it is accessible to students.” —David R. Cameron, Yale University

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